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Enforcement Edge
November 30, 2023

Spotlight on Life Sciences at ACI FCPA Conference

Enforcement Edge: Shining Light on Government Enforcement

On Day 2 of the ACI FCPA Conference, in-house lawyers from life sciences companies shared their perspectives during a special industry group panel.

The panelists noted relatively limited Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement in the life sciences industry of late: In 2023 so far, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought no criminal enforcement actions, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced two resolutions of civil FCPA cases, both of which concerned pre-pandemic misconduct in China. The panelists nevertheless observed that companies in their sector remain under investigation. According to the panelists, at least one medical device company and one pharmaceutical company have publicly disclosed ongoing FCPA investigations.

The panelists also discussed continued risk areas for anti-corruption compliance, including:

  • Public tenders
  • Travel and entertainment expenses for healthcare professionals (who, in many countries, are government employees)
  • Third-party distribution networks (including, e.g., margins for distributors and sub-distributors)

The panelists further addressed operational challenges that compliance professionals in the life sciences industry often face, including:

  • Integrating acquired companies into an existing compliance program
  • Identifying any loopholes in a compliance program
  • Dealing with obsolete data and information technology
  • Getting data out of China
  • Cross-functional communication within an organization
  • Balancing a variety of regulatory considerations, not just under various anti-corruption laws but also under antitrust/competition, data privacy, and other laws

Arnold & Porter has a full-service team of more than 200 attorneys who work with global and emerging life sciences companies around the world on effective solutions for business-defining matters.

© Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP 2023 All Rights Reserved. This blog post is intended to be a general summary of the law and does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with counsel to determine applicable legal requirements in a specific fact situation.